How much are optical zoom & pixels worth?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by electronbomb, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. electronbomb

    electronbomb Guest

    I am a digital virgin and was wondering what camera to buy.

    I am trying to decide whether to buy a Canon Ixus II or 400. As far
    as I can see (please put me straight if I am wrong)the main difference
    is that the II has x2 optical zoom with 3mp and the 400 x3 with 4mp.
    At the moment the prices on Amazon are £180 and £299 respectively.

    I would be using it as my main camera for pub/holidays/website stuff
    etc etc... so I suppose I am asking if the extra bits are worth are
    worth the extra cash and whether there is much difference between the
    specs?

    If you have any other models in mind - suggestions welcome! Also - I
    know it shouldn't - but how it looks is a bit important as well.

    Thanks for any help.
     
    electronbomb, Dec 27, 2003
    #1
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  2. If your only requirements are that it takes ok pics at the pub and for
    vacations and to use the pics on a website, then you really don't need much
    more than 3mp, but it would be nice to have the full 3x zoom.
    Even so, for a webpage you'll probably be best off cropping the pics instead
    of resizing them, and that earns you some "zoom" of sorts right there. The
    full size pics will be much larger than the 800x600 you'll probably use on a
    webpage.

    If you're envisioning becoming a photo hobbyist then you'll probably be
    better off getting a higher end camera, a dSLR of some sort, allthough they
    are quite a bit more expensive.
     
    Rune Austefjord, Dec 27, 2003
    #2
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  3. First of all, digital zoom is worth nothing. It is like enlarging
    the photo on the computer afterwards - and the computer is often a
    bit better at it.

    The V2 has 2 Mpixels, the 400 has 4 Mpixels. So the image will be
    twice as large on the 400 (which is area wise, so sqrt(2) = 1.41 times
    larger in each direction).

    So in reality, the 400 has 3x zoom time 2x resolution = 6 times
    larger pictures, so everything is sqrt(6) = 2.45x time bigger in
    all directions fully zoomed in.
    I like zoom, so I am waiting for an 11x zoom for my 6 Mpixel digicam,
    and also looking at 16x zoom lenses.

    At the pub, 2x might be sufficient, but the the people are further
    than 10-20 ft it starts getting useless, depending on how much of
    the body you want with it.
    Other contestants is the Minolta S400. Almost same size, 3x zoom,
    4mpixels, and way faster to snap a picture. Poweron to first shot is
    < 1 second.
     
    Povl H. Pedersen, Dec 27, 2003
    #3
  4. electronbomb

    GAH Guest

    Without going into all the mumbo-jumbo, let's just say it like it is: If
    the 400 won't set you back that much, just go ahead and buy that one.

    There isn't a TON of difference between a 3MP image and a 4MP image, and on
    prints at 4x6 and 5x7, you really won't see that much of a difference (and
    no difference on sized-down web images). Once you do an 8x10 print, the 400
    will produce a somewhat better image. The slightly longer zoom will also
    allow you to get the full subject a bit more into the frame, adding detail
    to the image.

    If you are counting dollars (or in this case, "pounds"), then the II isn't a
    bad camera. You can get that and plenty of extra memory for less than the
    400. If your photo needs do *not* include printing many 8x10 prints, then
    this might be the way to go.


    Greg
     
    GAH, Dec 27, 2003
    #4
  5. electronbomb

    Ron Hunter Guest

    I have a 2x zoom camera. It is the only limitation of the camera that
    truely limits my pictures to any significant extent. I would pick a
    camera with at least a 3x optical zoom and 3 mp if I had it to do over
    again.
     
    Ron Hunter, Dec 28, 2003
    #5
  6. electronbomb

    Don Stauffer Guest

    I agree with some of the others that a 3X zoom is worth considerably
    more than a 2X. As far as 4Mp rather than 3, consider that even if 3
    does the job for you, you can crop an image on a 4Mp camera that you
    could not crop without some degradation in a 3Mp.

    Consider that not even a 3X zoom is going to go very far telephoto, you
    will occasionally be taking pictures further from the subject than you
    would like, and cropping is nice.
     
    Don Stauffer, Dec 28, 2003
    #6
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